Sunday, November 30, 2008
Back on August 28, 2007, we reviewed Fr. Donal Godfrey's book "Gays and Grays: the story of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church." Our review was called: "MHR and How it Got That Way" . We argued that Fr. Godfrey's book shows that the true organizing principle at MHR is not Catholicism, but homosexuality. We also showed how this could be proven by examining what happened whenever Catholic teaching and the celebration of homosexuality came into conflict. Whenever that happened, Church teaching was abandoned.
On November 25, Salon did an interview with Richard Rodriguez "Why Churches Fear Gay Marriage." Mr. Rodriguez is a well known TV commentator, and a parishioner at MHR. His interview once more undercores our point. He completely rejects the Church when it is in conflict with his own sexual desires:
"I belong to a Catholic parish in San Francisco (Most Holy Redeemer), where my partner and I are acknowledged by the other people in the parish as a couple. We take communion together, the priests know who we are, they're supportive of who we are, and what we are, and they see us in various roles -- giving eulogies to dead friends but also helping to baptize little babies. We're very much a part of that community. That's why I'm not prepared to lose it because some archbishop in Colorado or cardinal in Los Angeles is behind Proposition 8. It is not my church that they're talking about, it's not even my experience of love."
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Friday, November 28, 2008
Isn't it curious that our young people overwhelmingly support pro-life activities, yet they support homosexual marriages? Our educators must be clear in their teaching about this issue. Youth are concerned about civil rights. It is here that the Church needs to make clear and cogent distinctions so that the emotional arguments are replaced with rational reasons for marriage between one man and one woman.
*The people of the United States have elected the most radically pro-abortion presidential candidate in American history, and by the largest popular vote percentage garnered by a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson.
*The people of the State of Washington have adopted, in a landslide, an act permitting the euthanizing of the sick, elderly and burdensome under the Orwellian rubrics of "death with dignity" and "physician-assisted suicide."
*The people of California have exercised their sovereign will to prevent the parents of minors from being notified if their daughter intends to have an abortion -- although you may be quite certain that said parents would be consulted before said minor's school nurse administered an aspirin tablet.
*And the people of Michigan have decided to authorize a wholesale slaughter of human embryos for research purposes -- at precisely the moment that embryonic stem-cell research has lost much of its scientific luster, thanks to developments in the reprogramming of adult stem cells.
And we sit by and take it?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Washington Times had hard words for President Bush: "It's both baffling and disappointing that President Bush has not already pardoned two U.S. Border Patrol agents imprisoned since 2007... Time is running out for Mr. Bush to act to correct what one Congressman [Rep. Dana Rohrabacher] calls 'the worst miscarriage of justice that I have witnessed in the 30 years I've been in Washington.'"
The Times also called President Bush's failure to act, "blindness." Congressman Tom Tancredo recently wrote: "These are the kinds of men whose government failed and destroyed them - all while they were serving a cause greater than themselves. These men deserve justice. I, and many other members of Congress, have repeatedly called upon President Bush to exercise his power to pardon - but he has not done so.” There are many who believe that Agents Compean and Ramos were wrongfully prosecuted.
Congressman Ed Royce stated: “Ramos and Compean have been living in the torture of solitary confinement for almost two years for something they never should have been prosecuted for in the first place. We are pleading with the Pardon Attorney to make a favorable recommendation of commutation to the President so he can finally do the right thing by these men and their families." But, as Royce's statement indicates, there is hope for Compean and Ramos. Apparently the commutation of their sentences is presently under consideration.
According to CNSNews: "The case is now before the DOJ’s Pardon Attorney Donald Rodgers. The Office of Pardon Attorney works in consultation with the attorney general’s office to assist the president, who has sole power of clemency in federal cases under the Constitution." More details however, are not available. According to CNSNews , the Justice Department is not responding to inquiries and the White House refuses to comment on the matter: At a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino stated: “We never comment on pardons or people who are eligible to apply for a pardon. That goes to the Office of Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice, and we don’t comment on those deliberations.”
Compean and Ramos are running out of time! It is NOW or NEVER when it comes to securing the release of Mr. President... Free These Border Agents NOW!
There are numerous other problems that we can point to about how the prosecution and sentencing of these two brave Border Patrol Agents stunk from the get-go. Not the least of which was the fact that nearly the entire prosecution by our government of Ramos and Compean was based on the perjured testimony of an illegal alien drug smuggler who received immunity in return for his testimony.
As Congressman Ted Poe told the Daily Bulletin: “When you give deals to witnesses like immunity, the government usually gets the testimony (it wants)… This case is a perfect example.” As time goes by – as Agents Compean and Ramos sit in federal prisons for attempting to do their jobs by securing the border against illegal alien drug smugglers – more and more information comes to light about this travesty of justice.
That may be why Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said: “The Ramos and Compean case is the worst miscarriage of justice that I have witnessed in the 30 years I have been in Washington.” So much so that more than 100 Members of Congress have co-sponsored a resolution calling for Ramos and Compean to be freed. It makes no sense to let these brave Border Patrol Agents spend even one more day in prison. these brave former Border Agents. Now may be your last chance to make your voice heard!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We remind the reader that under Mr. Cahill’s leadership, Catholic Charities, among other things:
Formed the disastrous partnership with “Family Builders by Adoption,” which saw Catholic Charities staff an organization whose mission included "Increasing the number of children adopted by Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) adults." Thankfully, the partnership will be dissolved next year.
Invited male transvestite, same-sex “marriage” activist, and Equality California Institute borad member “Donna Sachet” to be a featured entertainer at one of their parties;
Honored Mr. George Marcus at their 2008 “Loaves and Fishes” dinner, ignoring the fact that Mr. Marcus had given over $175,000 to political campaigns in California promoting the culture of death, and which were unwaveringly opposed by the Catholic Church;
In between time, Mr. Cahill found time to personally donate $600 to "Equality for All" and “Equality California --No on Proposition 8.”
It’s no secret that “A Shepherd’s Voice” is glad to see Mr. Cahill leave, and a look at the “Honorary Committee” for Mr. Cahill’s going-away reception just underscores why.
Committee members include:
San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Ross Mirkarimi, and Gerald Sandoval, all of whom voted for Resolution 168-06 on March 21, 2006, which called the Catholic Church “hateful” and “discriminatory” for daring to say that a child should be raised in a home with a mother and a father;
Senator Dianne Feinstein, who made a television ad supporting same-sex marriage, and who has throughout her career garnered a 100% pro-death rating from NARAL;
Dr. Sandra Hernandez, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, who personally donated $1,000 to the Campaign opposing Proposition 8, and whose webpage states “The San Francisco Foundation endorsed a No on 8 position and in the coming weeks and months we will be tracking closely the next steps to continue the strategy for justice.”
Dennis Herrera, City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, who is currently suing the State of California to outlaw the definition of marriage and the will of the voters by invalidating Proposition 8;
Jim Illig, Director of Government Relations for “Project Open Hand,” who gave $300 to oppose Proposition 8;
Father Anthony McGuire, former pastor of Most Holy Redeemer parish, of whom an admiring Fr. Donal Godfrey wrote: "Under Father Anthony McGuire—‘Fr. Tony—the parish was reborn…” The “reborn” Most Holy Redeemer Church now has “married” lesbians serving as lectors, acolytes, and Eucharistic Ministers, and a Liturgy Planning Group Coordinator who participates at events that are pictured on a website requiring an obscenity disclaimer.
San Francisco City Assessor Phil Ting, who in June, 2008 officiated at at least one same-sex “wedding.” From Sing Tao Daily: “Phil Ting spoke after the ceremony and said that he is very glad to marry gay and lesbian couples and very happy to see the day that the California government will allow their gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry.”
We are glad to see the last of Mr. Cahill, and we pray Catholic Charities can find a way to fulfill its mission while being true to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Martyrdom, the Antichrist and the Christian Witness
(Feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs)
Today we celebrate the Vietnamese Martyrs, many Catholic faithful, priests and laity who have given their life for their faith throughout several centuries, be it the political persecutions of the 19th century or the communist persecutions of the 20th century. These persecutions are ongoing. We know them through the many Vietnamese brothers and sisters who are living in this country. Their strong faith has lead many of them also to embrace vocations to the priesthood and religious life, including the Dominican Order. With that they are an important witness to all of us.
Their primary witness, though, was and is not for us, but before the powers of the world. That is what we call martyrdom. That Church has always considered martyrdom to be primarily a public and political act. You are not a martyr, if you die through an accident, or as a victim of a criminal act of private persons. Martyrdom is the outcome of a confrontation with political authority, with those who hold public office.
This is true even today in Vietnam, or also in Orissa, India. I am sure you have followed that in the news. There the government might hide behind the criminal acts of violence and murder by organized mobs or gangs. But their public refusal to take legal and police actions against the perpetrators is a clear endorsement of these acts. Standing by where it is your authority and duty to act, is itself an official statement.
At times the confrontation will be more explicit. This we see among the early Christian martyrs, who were arrested and killed by the authorities of the Roman Empire. They were brought before the courts and legally tried. That is why we get some of our documentation of these martyrs from the archives of the Roman Empire. Again, martyrdom is not death through a criminal act, but death through the very legal system itself that is meant to protect us from criminal acts.
That is also, why traditionally the role of the Antichrist is associated with a political power, as one can see in the book of Revelation, but also in much of the later literature, e.g. in Michael O’Brien’s Father Elijah or Robert Hugh Benson’s The Lord of the World or in the writings of Vladimir Solovyev, all of whom rely on much older perennial wisdom in the Church.
Political power is not, of course, something bad in and by itself. Indeed, Paul’s letter to the Romans says that all political authority is from God. But political power is always deeply ambivalent. (Even if it is in favor of the Church it tends to corrupt her.) The Antichrist is traditionally conceived of as a political ruler, and even a ruler that aspires to world rule.
Jesus promised us as much: he said that they will bring you before governors and courts. He also said that we are not worry, because at this point the Holy Spirit will take over. He will be the one who will give us the right words to answer.
And why is that? It is because we are giving a public witness for the Christian faith. We are not just giving witness for our own subjective opinions before some other equally subjective private individuals, but we are giving witness before public authorities to an equally public faith that is not just ours, but ultimately comes from God himself. It is the faith of the Church that the creator of the universe has established for this public witness. We are speaking not for ourselves, but for the Church, and therefore we will be able to speak with the authority of the Church, i.e., with the Holy Spirit.
But we will also speak for Jesus Christ himself. Jesus himself was put on trial. He was brought before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. He witnessed to the truth before the public authorities of the Roman Empire – only to receive the cynical answer: what is truth? He received a court sentence from these authorities, a death sentence, as an expression of a perverted political and judicial system that had replaced questions of truth with the questions of power.
Ever since, public authorities and courts have frequently put themselves in that position, not realizing that the ones who are really on trial are the judges themselves, because they are attempting to judge the king of the universe, who judges them by becoming a witness, a martyr.
Whenever Christians are in those situations, they should realize that they are standing in for Jesus himself, or rather that Jesus is standing there for them, giving witness in and through them in the Holy Spirit. We might suffer, but we will have his support and power for our witness.
But why this conflict in the first place? Why is there a perpetual struggle between Church and State, with the Roman Empire and then its successors in the Middle Ages and finally throughout modern history and in all parts of the world? Why is the public square never a neutral arena, but will always bear witness to either Christ or Antichrist?
For one, because God is different from the world; he is not identical with it, but its creator. God transcends this world, stands over against it in total freedom. He has created it freely and governs it according to his gracious will. That is why Jesus can tell Pilate in his trial that his kingdom is not of this world.
Pope Benedict has also pointed out that the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount would probably not work, if you would make them into state laws. Turning the other cheek and not caring for tomorrow are more likely to be realized by individual Christians aspiring to something greater than the secular government, and rightly so. He sees this as opening up the legitimately different directions and purposes of Church and secular state, something unique to Christian history.
So far, so good. But why would we then have a conflict? After all, if the state cares about the world, and the Church about heaven, they should be able to coexist peacefully. No reason for court trials and martyrdom here.
The reason is that we are monotheists. We do not believe that God is responsible only for heaven and its kingdom, and another god would have made the earthly world and rules that kind of kingdom. We are not dualists. Both heaven and earth were made by God. The world is not a bad place; it is made by God, too. And we are meant to live in it and shape it as well. We have a responsibility for heaven and earth. In our own personal lives and for others it will matter what we do in this world and in the realm of the powers that have authority over it. This is what leaves us in the tension of being citizens of the kingdom of heaven and of living in this world at the same time. (It was already St. Irenaeus of Lyon who made this point in the 2nd century; he claimed that martyrdom is in this way specific to the Christian faith, and later became a martyr himself.)
Again, Jesus is the model: Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity, existing from all eternity. But he is not staying far away; rather, he takes our human nature, lives a human, earthly life, preaching the Sermon on the Mount to people who continued to lead lives in their particular circumstances. Jesus did so himself. And just as this brings him into conflict with political authority, it will also do so for all those who follow him. (As he promised: “the servant is not greater than the master.”) So, while the Church is not all about politics and a social Gospel, it is impossible that the message of the Church will not have political implications and will raise eyebrows, if not persecutions.
That might be, why the letters of St. John describe the Antichrist as the one who denies that Jesus came in the flesh. He fears the unavoidable interference in his own political realm. He does not want another power besides himself. A Church that has a special, legally guaranteed status through concordats, that is a “perfect society”, complete in its own right, with its own laws (canon law) does not fit the neat logical of a purely earthly realm. Early modern political philosophy has always taken exception to this (e.g., Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Hegel), and so does the Antichrist. That is why he wants world rule. It is a total rule, and it is an international rule, where no other international power like the Vatican can interfere in the affairs of national states. Nation states will not be able to control an external authority like the Vatican, but a World-government might. It is the direct competition to the universal spiritual authority of the Church.
Ultimately, however, the witness of the Church does not just challenge national authorities or even international authorities, but the ultimacy of the world as such. It is a witness, sometimes a martyrial witness, to the fact that this life, this world is not all that there is. And this is the true scandal that provokes persecution.
The Antichrist is not primarily someone who is a bad person in the usual sense. He is not a criminal. He is not even the usual kind of selfish tyrant. In fact he is usually expected to be humanitarian, self-less, ascetic, sometimes a vegetarian, a compassionate friend of man and animal.
The conflict is not selfishness or immorality of the usual kind, but it is primarily a conflict of authority and a conflict over the question where true authority comes from. Even political authority comes from God, yet the Antichrist will speak in his own name.
Implied in this is also the question where our ultimate hope comes from: If there is no hope and no God beyond this world, then we will have to play God ourselves. That is what the snake promised: you will be like God, knowing good and evil for yourself. Yes, one can and should promote politically humanitarian goals, but if it is in the spirit of the Antichrist it will be in the name of inner-worldly goals and authorities; it will argue with the logic of the needs of this world and make individuals and religions subservient to the survival of the planet, arguing, e.g., for eugenics, euthanasia and population control. While indeed it will be Christianity that defends the sanctity of life in the human person as an image and likeness of God – an image, which just like the God it represents, transcends the earthly goals and ends of this world.
If religions, however, refuse to serve the goals of the Antichrist and disrupt the process, they will be treated like another pest in the organism of humanity that is to be exterminated. Already in the Roman Empire Christians were singled out in this way as being “anti-social” or being filled with an odium humani generis – a hatred of the human race.
So we see some perennial features emerging, which writers of various kinds of pointed out throughout the ages.
And this scenario should sound familiar to our own experience as well: in a time, when these inner-worldly goals and measures are more and more codified in our legal system, trying to coerce the Church and its individual members into its very structures, this conflict will be increasingly unavoidable. Not just in the U.S., but in the whole western world, if not globally, we might in the near future find ourselves in the position of being brought before the courts. Cardinal Stafford recently said in Washington (at the Catholic University of America) that in the next few years Gethsemane will not be marginal for American Christian. “We will know that garden.” While we might not lose our lives as the Vietnamese martyrs did, we might sometimes lose our jobs, our freedom, our money and our institutions (especially in teaching and healthcare).
This is why we have reason to recall some of the perennial wisdom of the Church about the principles that rule this world and govern history. This is not the first time and it probably will not be the last time that shows some more apocalyptic features. The Vietnamese martyrs show the same situation, and indeed it is something that we will find whenever we are called to a public witness for our faith before the political powers of this world.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, is standing by controversial comments he made about President-elect Barack Obama during an on-campus lecture last Thursday. In an address hosted by the John Paul II Institute on Marriage and Family, Stafford called President-elect Barack Obama’s policies “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,” said that his election was “a cultural earthquake” and that Obama campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform...
Stafford told CNN he does believe Obama’s stance on abortion rights condones violence towards unborn children, and he does not understand how a Catholic voter could look favorably at the president-elect when “he is hostile to the life of an unborn child."
The Cardinal is absolutely right. Professor Douglas Kmiec attempted to answer His Eminence and defend Obama. Kmiec's defense included this unbelievable statement:
"Quite obviously, and quite sincerely, President Obama shares with our Church a concern for the most vulnerable..."
Obama, when he served in the Illinois Senate spoke against and voted against the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act. That act was introduced because babies, the victims of live birth and induced labor abortions were simply left to die. They were the most vulnerable, helpless people on this planet. This is all a matter of public record. Let's listen to Professor Kmiec again:
"Quite obviously, and quite sincerely, President Obama shares with our Church a concern for the most vulnerable..."
Kmiec is willingly separating himself from reality. Pray for him!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"The final wording of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) has yet to be set, but there is every indication that it will be the most radical piece of pro-abortion legislation ever proposed at the federal level. The near certainty that FOCA will be re-introduced (compounded by the increased likelihood that it will pass and be signed into law) means that, ready or not, Catholic bishops will have to face squarely the problem of well-known Catholic legislators supporting a specifically and gravely evil bill."
Mr. Peters discusses the options here.
H/T Ignatius Insight.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
"As President-elect Obama builds his new administration, his list of new appointees makes it even more apparent that he is comfortable with the pro-abortion lobby. This became even more clear on Saturday when Ellen Moran, executive director of EMILY’s List, was named White House communications director.
Moran currently serves as executive director of EMILY’s List, where she oversees the national staff and charts the overall strategic direction of the organization. EMILY's List, one of the most important Democratic constituency groups, says it is "dedicated to building a progressive America by electing Democratic pro-choice women to office."
There is no common ground possible with a person who believes it is acceptable behavior to murder another person, until they renounce that position. The position itself precludes common ground, because it is a denial of common humanity. That's what being "pro-choice" on abortion means--it's a denial of common humanity.
To those "Catholics" like "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good," who say:
"In an effort to promote more productive ways to reduce the abortion rate, Catholics in Alliance just released a groundbreaking national abortion reduction study that offers compelling findings pro-life and pro-choice leaders can unite behind to reach common ground solutions on this profound moral issue. "
Or like Professor Douglas Kmiec, who says:
"The central hope of the Obama campaign is to find common ground—not by "favoring" that which can never be acceptable, the taking of innocent unborn life, but by dealing with the legal reality in a way that at least reduces the likelihood of abortion."
We reply with Lord Acton's words: "The greatest crime is Homicide. The accomplice is no better than the assassin; the theorist is worse." A person who is "pro-choice" on abortion is a theorist of murder. There can never be "common ground."
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Coming "War" Between the Obama Administration and the Catholic Church
The possible signing of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) by President-Elect Barack Obama would be "the equivalent of a war" an unnamed senior Vatican official recently told TIME magazine.
The focus of the Vatican’s concern, FOCA, is a bill that would do away with state laws on abortion, including laws mandating parental involvement, or banning partial birth abortion. FOCA would also compel taxpayer funding of abortions, and, of greatest concern to Bishops, would force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions.
"To put it differently, were FOCA to become law (it needs to be reintroduced in the House), the culture war that the Vatican official was referring to would come to a boiling point," he warned. "In practical terms, this would mean the closure of every Catholic hospital in the nation: No bishop is going to stand by and allow the federal government to dictate what medical procedures must be performed in Catholic hospitals. Make no mistake about it, the bishops would shut down Catholic hospitals before acquiescing in the intentional killing of an innocent child. Were this to happen, it would not only cripple the poor, it would cripple the Obama administration."
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
His lecture, “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul,” pointed out the need for Catholics to return to the true values of marriage and human dignity faced to the current challenges.“Because man is a sacred element of secular life,” the cardinal said, “[…] a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”
"On Nov. 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake,” continued the cardinal. He pointed out that president-elect Barack Obama campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform,” and described him as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).-
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
We think we are important; and we are, because He created us and made us for Himself.
Think of His power and take comfort in His concern for us as we witness the grandeur of His world.
The Sombrero Galaxy - 28 million light years from Earth - was voted best picture taken by the Hubble telescope. The dimensions of the galaxy, officially called M104, are as spectacular as its appearance. It has 800 billion suns and is 50,000 light years across.
Fr. Anselm is a Dominican Priest and Professor of Philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology here in the Bay Area.
“What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight. This story is countercultural. Far from crying out for Jesus to make us seeing, the present culture seems intent on preserving its blindness.
There is, for example, the blindness for what is called the natural law. Natural law, as its name says, is a law that is inscribed in the nature of things. There is something in how things are that tells us how they should be: If we see a cat with only three legs, we know that these are only three legs, and that the cat rather ought to have four legs. It is the nature of the cat to have that many legs.
We ordinarily do perceive these things. Yet, we are less willing to acknowledge that there is something like a nature of things, when it becomes inconvenient. The same perception should, for example, tell us something about our very own nature. For the most part, we acknowledge our nature, for example, when it comes to health care: when we perceive that we are sick, we do see that we are not how we ought to be – just like the cat with the three legs. And so we go to the doctor. We also know that we should not overeat, because it is unhealthy and leads to physical states that are contrary to our nature. People also exercise to stay healthy, although here it might already get inconvenient, and we are therefore more ready to be in denial about what our nature is.
That denial, however, becomes most pronounced when we enter the realm of sexual ethics. That certain organs and their use are made by nature for the sake of procreation seems to unduly limit our freedom. And I am not only talking about gay marriage here, but also about contraception and quite generally the promiscuity of our society. Even pregnancy is changed from the preciousness of fertility into an accident, an illness that is to be taken care of by abortion, with the help of one’s health-insurance. Here the nature of things is turned into it’s very opposite.
Any appeal to the normative demands of the natural law, which in ordinary life is unwittingly accepted, suddenly starts to become something of an outrage. We will even hear the accusation of imposing our faith on other people.
But this not about faith at all. It is natural law, i.e., it is about nature, not about grace or the supernatural. We do not need faith to see that a cat with three legs is missing something. This is something that is accessible to all people who possess reason. We are therefore also held responsible for any violation of the natural law. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse; we are supposed to know.
When the man in the Gospel asks Jesus to see, Jesus tells him: your faith has saved you. Faith can indeed make us seeing, where we have become blind even to the things that we can know by nature and reason. But we ought to know them even apart from faith; that is itself part of our nature.
The natural law, I said, is a law inscribed into the nature of things. Who wrote it there? The one who made these natures. The one who made our natures, our bodies and brains as well. God himself wrote that law, and not just on the stone tablets of the 10 commandments, but into the nature of things as well as into the very flesh of our hearts, as St. Paul says. He is the lawgiver who obliges us to follow the law; but he also gives us a law that is our very own: if we break that law, we break ourselves.
If on the other hand, there is no God, if the way how cats are and how we are, is just the meaningless outcome of a Darwinist evolution, then there is no natural law. Modern science since Descartes has made an effort to describe reality in such a way, that it could be understood without God. That included the emphatic denial of something like the nature of things, i.e., of anything normative in reality. Everything therefore was open to the boundless manipulation by the new technologies that this modern science yielded.
This eliminated therefore the theoretical basis for natural law. And so we find ourselves indeed in the situation that Dostoevsky described, when he said: if there is no God, then everything is permitted. And the existentialist Jean Paul Sartre emphatically stated that this is not a bad thing, but rather the liberation of man.
What we are looking at is therefore ultimately the attempt to liberate man from God. Because if God exists, then reality has meaning, then it will reflect God’s design. There will be a nature of things that expresses the purpose of God; it will be something that we have to respect, be it in animals, endangered plant species or in ourselves. It will put limitations on what we can rightfully do with each other, with ourselves and with embryos. The very existence of God implies this.
The next battle that we will have to face will be therefore not just about abortion or gay marriage; it will be about the very existence of God himself, including our ability to teach children about him. You might think I am exaggerating. But the movement called “New Atheism” is already producing bestsellers like Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Daniel Dennett’s "Breaking the Spell." It is already making inroads in the academic world. Even at a “hardcore” Catholic College like Steubenville students are reported to have lost their faith after reading these books.
The authors of these books claim that religion is just an aberration of the evolution of our species that should be eliminated. One of the ways to eliminate it, is to forbid parents to teach their children any kind of religion. Dawkins and Dennett declare religious education for children to be a form of child abuse. I have no doubts that we will face even this battle in the near future. Already now God is pushed out of the public square, replaced not by something neutral – for there is no neutrality in these matters – but replaced by an atheistic faith, which is proclaimed by silence and absence.
As awful as this is, it puts the focus where it belongs: it is not about this or that moral issue, it is about the very existence of God. If there is no God, then there is no natural law that would put any limitation on our freedom. If on the other hand, God exists, then there will be ethical consequences that people are increasingly inclined to reject.
The question for us is: would we want to live in a society in which God is declared dead? Would we want to live in a society, in which everything is allowed, not just to ourselves, but also to others, including those in government? How would we live together at all, with no common nature to appeal to? And would we want to live in a society in which there is no guidance anymore regarding right and wrong, except majority votes? In other words, would we want to live in a society in which might is right?
In the name of what would we protest against injustices against the health and well-being of people, if not in the name of our nature, a nature created by God, a nature that expresses his designs and laws, a nature that wants to be well and ought to be well? The appeal to human rights becomes vacuous, if it is not concretized in natural law.
Could we even appeal to the freedom of choice of those who are oppressed? How is their will not just another part of their nature? Would it not just be another brute fact that gets in the way of our own freedom, something that can be just as well trumped by a stronger, but equally brute fact, that of the majority choice? And how about those who are too old or too young or too sick to exercise their free choice?
It would seem that the words that the first reading from the book of Revelation addresses to the Church at Ephesus are addressed to our culture as well:
Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
It would seem that we have all reason to cry out with the blind man in Jericho: Lord, please let me see! It is our gift as Catholics that we have a faith that makes us see what everyone should be able to see by the light of his conscience: the law of nature, which is an expression of God’s gracious will. It is a faith that cures us from our blindness. And by curing us it will help others to see as well: the Gospel tells us that the blind man immediately received his sight and followed him (Jesus), giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.
Those who perceive the natural law have overcome their blindness, they will follow Jesus, and they will know nothing less but God himself. And they will praise him.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
"The aggressor in the opening phases of this Kulturkampf is the Obama administration. The initial response to the aggression was evident in the meeting of Catholic bishops this week in Baltimore. There were refreshingly bold statements by bishops, and by Francis Cardinal George, president of the conference, on the imperative to protect the integrity of the Church’s teaching and to employ every legitimate means to resist the further advance of what John Paul the Great taught us to understand as the culture of death. Some bishops even invoked the venerable tradition of martyrdom, sounding very much like the successors to the apostles that they are.
The Christ against culture model does not come naturally to Catholics. The Church is much more disposed toward conversion, providing moral guidance, and the transformation of culture. The Christ against culture model is never chosen, but sometimes there is no choice. Pushed to the wall by the Obama aggression, it seems evident that most of the Catholic bishops are, in the words of Paul to Timothy, prepared to “fight the good fight.”
Emphases added. Obama is helping our Bishops to remember their vocation. Mysterious ways, indeed.
Posted by Gibbons
"'In San Francisco, the more white people living in a precinct, the more likely it was to vote against the proposition. The opposite was true for precincts with many Asian or African American residents. Voters ages 18 to 29 were overwhelmingly against the measure, while those older 60 were overwhelmingly for it. And those with only a high school education mostly voted for the measure, while those who graduated from college were largely against it.'"
Translation: decadent upper middle class white liberals, young angry kids from broken homes, and graduates of colleges that engage in post-modernist indoctrination voted No on Prop 8. Normal working class people, religious people, and people who grew up the American culture before the 1960's generation virtually destroyed it, voted Yes.'"
Dear Friends of Marriage:
It has been a week and a half since Proposition 8 passed and we won a resounding victory for marriage. Since then, the voters, volunteers and donors in support of Prop 8 have come under an unprecedented, vicious and outrageous assault. The voters, who have twice passed propositions in favor of the definition of traditional marriage, have had their will disrespected by unruly protests and a series of lawsuits designed to overturn their vote. But as bad as this has been, the most outrageous attacks have come against volunteers and donors who worked so hard to help us pass Proposition 8. Because we are required by law to report our donors’ names, occupations and employers with the Secretary of State, the opponents of marriage have been threatening boycotts and blacklisting of our donors. As noted below, some of our supporters have been forced to resign.They have also defaced churches and in at least one case, attacked a woman who counter-protested a No on 8 rally.We teach our children that getting involved in the political process, as a voter, volunteer, or donor, is a good thing.
Civic involvement and participation in democracy is at the core of our nation’s most cherished freedoms. The unruly mob that has emerged out of the failed No on 8 campaign is attacking all of these freedoms and values.The election for Proposition 8 was hard fought, but in the end, as before, traditional marriage won. That is our process in a democracy.
As noted in the Sacramento Bee editorial below, (and remember the Bee was a strong No on 8 supporter) the other side has crossed the line of appropriate political discourse.Tomorrow, we will begin to show just how outrageous the No on 8 street mob has become. In the meantime, we appreciate how hard you all worked to help us succeed, and the quiet dignity in which you have celebrated our victory. We assure you that we will vigorously defend our victory in the courts of law and the courts of common decency and respect for democracy. In the meantime, here are some articles we thought you would like to read.
ManagerYes on Proposition 8
Elton John: Heterosexual Couples Have Marriage, Same-Sex Couples Have Civil PartnershipsUSA Today published an article yesterday in which Sir Elton John spoke about his position on Proposition 8. John clarified his position on Prop 8 while attending the annual benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He was accompanied by his longtime partner David Furnish, whom he joined in a civil union in 2005. John was quoted as saying, "We're not married. Let's get that right. We have a civil partnership. What is wrong with Proposition 8 is that they went for marriage. Marriage is going to put a lot of people off, the word marriage."John went on to emphasize that civil unions grant same-sex couples the same rights afforded to married heterosexual couples. He stated, "I don't want to be married. I'm very happy with a civil partnership. If gay people want to get married, or get together, they should have a civil partnership . . .
Thursday, November 13, 2008
"Two letters containing suspicious white powder were sent Thursday to Mormon temples in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, where hundreds of people recently gathered to protest the church's support of California's gay marriage ban.
The temple in the Westwood area of Los Angeles was evacuated before a hazardous materials crew determined the envelope's contents was non-toxic, said FBI spokesman Jason Pack.
A temple in downtown Salt Lake City received a similar envelope containing a white powder that spilled onto a clerk's hand. The room was decontaminated and the envelope taken by the FBI for testing. The clerk showed no signs of illness, but the scare shut down a building at Temple Square for more than an hour, said Scott Freitag, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City Fire Department. The temple is on the campus of the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Freitag said none of the writing on the envelope was threatening, and that the church received no calls or messages related to the package.
Protests in recent days have targeted the Mormon church, which encouraged its members to support the recently passed amendment banning gay marriage in California.
Pack said authorities were investigating who sent the letters and why.
of the Passage of Proposition 8
The Executive Committee of the California Catholic Conference: Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, President; Bishop Daniel F. Walsh, Secretary; and Bishop Gerald E. Wilkerson, Treasurer;
makes the following statement:
"The recent vote on Proposition 8 and the reaction by some of those who opposed it make it very clear that there is a fundamental difference in the understanding of marriage between those who voted “yes” and those who voted “no.”
We believe that marriage, which predates both Church and government, is an institution that arose from the reality that the union of a man and a woman is necessary for the continuation of the human race. Those opposed to Proposition 8 believe marriage to be a “civil right” analogous to the right to vote.
As we said in our original statement of support for Proposition 8, same-sex unions are not the same as opposite-sex unions. The radical change in the definition of marriage to include same-sex partners discounts both history and biology and ignores how deeply marriage—as the union of a man and a woman—is embedded in our culture, language, and laws and how foundational it is for the well-being of children and the flourishing of society. To change the definition of marriage to include any two adults diminishes the institution to mean only a legal partnership.
Under present law domestic partners continue to have the rights and benefits of married couples in the State of California. It is our conviction that it is not necessary to change the definition of marriage to protect those rights and benefits. It is our hope that all those engaged in discourse on this issue will do so respectfully and in a civil manner."
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"(Bishop Wenski) characterized the 'culture wars' as a conflict about 'the understanding of man and his relationship to truth and reality.' One side, which, he argued, includes homosexual marriage advocates, 'holds that anyone can essentially create his or her own reality. This side holds for a radical autonomy by which truth is determined not by the nature of things but by one's own individual will.' This position, in the bishop’s view, is a 'recipe for tyranny.'
And once again, the only time same-sex "marriage" advocates get anywhere is through the courts. They maintain their perfect record: zero victories whenever the people get to have their say.
Just as counterfeit money debases a currency, counterfeit marriage debases the institution of marriage. Let's pray that our fellow citizens in Connecticut get a chance to exercise their right to self-government.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer
BALTIMORE—The nation's Roman Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights, saying the church and religious freedom could be under attack in the new presidential administration.
In an impassioned discussion on Catholics in public life, several bishops said they would accept no compromise on abortion policy. Many condemned Catholics who had argued it was morally acceptable to back President-elect Obama because he pledged to reduce abortion rates.
And several prelates promised to call out Catholic policy makers on their failures to follow church teaching. Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., singled out Vice President-elect Biden, a Catholic, Scranton native who supports abortion rights.
"I cannot have a vice president-elect coming to Scranton to say he's learned his values there when those values are utterly against the teachings of the Catholic Church," Martino said. The Obama-Biden press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
and from Catholic World News:
Bishop DiMarzio: ‘Faithful Citizenship’ misinterpreted
November 11, 2008
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn-- who oversaw the drafting of the US bishops’ 2007 statement on Catholics' political responsibilities, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,-- said yesterday that the document had been misinterpreted and misused. The statement, which initially won praise for emphasizing the centrality of the defense of human life and distinguishing instrinsic evils from more prudential political issues, was used as the basis for the Dallas and Fort Worth bishops’ October statement that ‘to vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or ‘abortion rights’ when there is a morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil-- and, therefore, morally impermissible.’ In recent weeks, however, the document has come under criticism from Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, and from Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, who says, ‘It didn’t and doesn’t work.’ Bishop DiMarzio also dismissed the notion that Catholics should simply seek to reduce abortion rather than work to make it to illegal. ‘Would it be OK if we just tried to reduce slavery?’ he asked.
This is quite true. I've spoken to people who vote for the infanticide-enabler Barack Obama based on the "Faithful Citizenship" document.
Rocco at Whispers in the Loggia has much more.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
I ask that you pardon former Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. These law enforcement agents have been in prison for more than 2 years.
Illegal alien Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila was smuggling over 700 pounds of marijuana into the US when Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean attempted to stop him. A physical altercation ensued and Aldrete-Davila ran toward the border resulting in a foot pursuit and the pointing of an object at the agents by the fleeing suspect. Fearing they were about to be shot the agents protected themselves as they have been trained to do.
May this travesty of justice be reversed!
The little old lady is named Phyllis Burgess. She's pressing charges, as well she should. I love her:
"Despite the attack, Burgess plans to attend future gay marriage rallies. 'To get my remarks across at my city hall where I have lived for 30 years .... if it takes endangerment, should that stop me?' says Burgess with a smile."
And VirtueOnline comments on our mainstream totalitarian media:
"The worst example we've seen of TV reporting on Prop. 8 protests came from the local CBS station in Palm Springs, Calif. On the grounds of City Hall, furious "gay" protesters knocked a Christian cross out of an elderly woman's hands and stomped on it. The woman remained calm and collected. When reporter Kimberly Chang tried to interview her, protesters screamed and blocked the camera with their signs. Hilariously, the station identified the victimized woman as "Phyllis Burgess, Involved in Prop 8 Rally Altercation." That's like saying Poland was involved in a border altercation with Nazi Germany. In a masterpiece of moral equivalence, CBS anchor Kris Long told viewers, "There's a lot of anger and a lot of hate, quite honestly, on both sides."
h/t Mark Shea
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
"A gay anarchist group infiltrated the Mt. Hope Church in Eaton County Sunday morning, disrupting a service by pulling a fire alarm, dropping leaflets and yelling at parishioners, a pastor said.
The group, Bash Back, was simultaneously picketing outside the church, beating on buckets and using a megaphone to shout “Jesus was a homo” and other slogans as confused churchgoers continued to enter the building."
More about the disruption here.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
"The common good can never be adequately incarnated in any society when those waiting to be born can be legally killed at choice. If the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision that African Americans were other people’s property and somehow less than persons were still settled constitutional law, Mr. Obama would not be president of the United States. Today, as was the case a hundred and fifty years ago, common ground cannot be found by destroying the common good."
His Eminence's full address can be read here.
h/t The Catholic Key
Fr. Anselm is a Dominican Priest and Professor of Philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology here in the Bay Area.
Homily on feast of St. Leo the Great
As you are perfectly aware, the success of Prop. 8 caused a lot of rebellion in this city; yesterday a group was demonstrating in front of the Cathedral, shouting obscenities, today there are demonstrations in various parts of California. Opponents still claim that “gay marriage” is a matter of rights, and they try to override Proposition 8 again, against the majority vote.
Since you will not get the Catholic position from the San Francisco Chronicle (at most they will give you a report on Catholic dissent), let me try to say something tonight (St. Leo the Great would certainly approve of this message).
The first thing is to let you know as Catholics about the teaching of the Church. Her perpetual teaching regarding homosexuality has not changed and indeed cannot and will not change. To give you one clear statement, I am quoting n. 2357 of the CCC:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
The Catechism gives several scripture references; I will only quote the passage from the first chapter of Romans to you, which relates this topic to the idolatry of pagan Rome, i.e. to a darkened sense of who God is (be prepared for some strong language; this is the word of God, though, and we need to hear it):
20 Ever since the creation of the world, his (God’s) invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 While claiming to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. 24 Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper.
What does this mean? It means that sexuality cannot be divorced from our view of God. As John Paul II has explained in his theology of the body, the family and the sexual complementarity of man and woman are an image of the Trinity itself. When God says: let us make man in our image and likeness and: male and female he made them, then we are invited to see divine and sacred things in sexual relations. In the New Testament, marriage can therefore be elevated to a sacrament, reflecting the fertile relationship between Christ and his bride the Church; the Eucharist itself is the marriage banquet that celebrates our salvation.
By contrast, if we follow St. Paul’s thought, then he is saying that homosexual relationships do not express this, but that they are rather proclaiming a totally different god, demon or idol.
While this is the understanding of the Catholic faith, it is not a matter of mere faith that we would impose on other people, but something that also follows from pure reason and the natural law: “gay marriage” in so far as it claims to be marriage, is about sexual acts. I.e., it is not about the love of friendship. That kind of love, the love of friendship, can, of course, exist in all sorts of relationships. Nobody denies that this will be a genuine good, but it is not marriage. The love of marriage on the other hand is of a different kind in that it integrates these aspects into a sexual relationship. It forms a bond of a very different kind than that between friends, or parents and children, or grandparents, or caretakers and those entrusted to them.
Sexual acts by their nature are designed to produce offspring. Homosexual acts cannot do that, even though they are using the organs of procreation. In other words, it is an improper use of these organs. It can certainly never represent their normal function and intended situation. This is obvious for anyone who believes that this world and our bodies and their organs were created purposefully by an intelligent and loving God.
But it is even obvious to those who deny this, i.e. those who say that everything is the outcome of random mutation and natural selection; even Darwinists would agree that sexual organs are made for procreation.
Now the state has neither right nor duty nor interest to be involved in marriage, except because marriage is the place where future generations and citizens originate. In other words: the state is involved in marriage, because marriage is procreative. “Gay marriage” by its nature does not do that; it therefore has no more claim to special political recognition than any other kind of partnership, as for example grandparents living with their grandchildren or caretakers – for these there is no marriage either, even though they might feel love and affection for each other as well.
Now I am perfectly aware that there is a growing number of countries in this world, in which I would be thrown into jail for saying this, i.e. for preaching the faith of the Church. Go and try saying this, for example, in Sweden, Canada or Colombia. Without Proposition 8, this might become an issue in California as well. Broadcasting licenses for Catholic radio stations, for example, would be revoked, if they would present this Catholic position. Also, conscientious objection to hosting gay events or marriages or renting space for such occasions, or even declining to be professional photographers at these events will be impossible. Already now courts have fined photographers and others for their conscientious objection.
What that means is: Proposition 8 is not about the rights of gay people, but about our rights of free speech and conscientious objection.
Teachers at public schools, for example, do already have to teach children about the equality of gay relationships (Senate Bill 777). But surely no Catholic teacher can comply with this; rather, today’s Gospel would speak to this situation:
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neckand he be thrown into the seathan for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard!"
Without Proposition 8, this situation would extend even to Catholic schools, which would otherwise lose their accreditation.
How about teaching your very own children? You cannot refrain from warning your children about false ideas about sexuality and the implied practices. Would you not scream, if you see your children running out on the street, into the moving traffic and being run over? Would you not defy anyone who tries to stop you from rescuing your child, just because it is not politically correct, or because others choose to claim as their right to run out into the moving traffic without looking?
Catholics do believe that there is that deathly traffic out there; and much worse than this, because that kind of traffic only kills the body. In other words: we do indeed believe that there is a hell and we do believe that homosexual acts would lead you there.
We therefore have not only the right but the duty to warn people about the danger they are putting themselves in. It should be a matter of charity and care to do so, not an act of hatred or homophobia. It is in fact the very teaching of the Church that rejects persecution of people with a homosexual orientation. Let me quote from the Catechism again:
2358. The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
There are, by the way, many people with same-sex attraction trying to live in this way, with the help of support groups like “Courage”, to whom I am actually one of the chaplains. We might also want to think, what we would be saying to people who are making this effort, if we were to advocate gay marriage: are we telling them that they are actually fools for trying to live according to the Gospel?
We certainly do not want to do that, as little as we want to discriminate people for their sexual orientation. But notice that the Church can say this without therefore implying a “right to marriage”, which is by its nature impossible. Much of what gay people are seeking can already be taken care of by civil union as it is. Any step beyond this would make claims on the rights of other parties involved, not the least those of children.
In other words, we are not here to take away any genuine rights or to insult anyone. But we are here to defend our own rights:
1) the right to disagree, i.e. the right to believe otherwise and to say so;
2) the right to defend the salvation of our own souls through conscientious objection;
3) the right to warn those entrusted to us, the faithful in the Church and the children at home or in our schools, through the exercise of free speech;
4) and last, but by no means least, the right to be concerned for our brothers and sisters with same sex-attraction, who are endangering themselves, and whom we want to warn, so that they can be with us one day with God in heaven.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Sunday, November 9, 2008
From today's Washington Post:
Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions
Stem Cell, Climate Rules Among Targets of President-Elect's Team
Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team...
Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's. (This statement attributed to unnamed "scientists" is utterly false. The biggest names in the field, such as Professor Ian Wilmot who cloned Dolly the sheep and James Thomson, who first isolated embryonic stem-cells. have abandoned embryonic stem-cell research because it's fruitless. They are now using other techniques which actually work).
But Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said that during Obama's final swing through her state in October, she reminded him that because the restrictions were never included in legislation, Obama "can simply reverse them by executive order." Obama, she said, "was very receptive to that." Opponents of the restrictions have already drafted an executive order he could sign.
The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.
"We have been communicating with his transition staff" almost daily, Richards said. "We expect to see a real change."
It's no surprise that Planned Parenthood wants more abortions in the third world. It's a little surprising that a President-Elect of African descent would go along with it.
What is also rationally inexplicable is the push for more embryonic stem-cell research, when every single medical treatment and advance has been made using adult stem cells.
While not rationally explicable, the grandiose claims made by the proponents of embryonic stem-cell research can, however, be understood as an outlet for the terrible pressures felt by women who have had abortions and by the men and women who have enabled abortion. The desperate hope for some sort of transcendental "cures" derived from human embryos is needed as a psychological solace for the killing of the unborn child. The hope is that maybe if some terrible disease is cured using embryonic stem-cells, that will somehow justify the decision to kill the unborn child. That's why they continue to support ESCR instead of adult stem-cell research, despite the fact that all the cures come through adult stem-cells.
h/t Threshing Grain
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Many people have commented on the President-Elect's mandatory "Requirement" for college students to perform community service:
"Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year."
That was what Obama's webpage said until reactions to this rather fascistic program forced his disciples to change it. But what the proposal also says is those consripted students will get a tax credit of $4,000 for 100 hours of "community service"--$40 per hour! Nice work if you can get it! (I wonder what our troops earn?)
The whole issue, including the original proposal, the changed proposal removing the "required" clause, and the $40 per hour for "work" done by a cllege student is covered at "NewsBusters."
H/T "View From the Right"
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Pelosi says voters misunderstood Prop. 8
"Unfortunately, I think people thought they were making a statement about what their view of same-sex marriage was," the San Francisco Democrat said. "I don't know if it was clear that this meant that we are amending the Constitution to diminish freedom in our state."
Yeah. It was so difficult to grasp:
"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
And of course nobody was aware that the California Supreme Court, by a 4-3 margin had redefined "marriage" so as to include same-sex couples. That wasn't in the news at all. Nor did anyone know that these "marriages" had actually taken place. Not a word about it in the press.
His Excellency Archbishop Niederauer still has an open invitation extended to Speaker Pelosi. He invited her to visit so that he could make sure she understood the Church's teaching on abortion, one of the Church's non-negotiable issue. Perhaps he could add the defense of natural marriage, which is another non-negotiable issue, to the agenda.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Word of the Day
nuance: nu·ance (nōō'äns', nyōō'-, nōō-äns', nyōō-) : n. A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone: a rich artistic performance, full of nuance.
An example of usage, courtesy of the Associated Press, in a story titled, "Gay activists jarred by California marriage defeat" (Nov. 5, 2008):
Obama had a nuanced position on the issue, saying he opposes gay marriage while also speaking out against Proposition 8.
Granting that Proposition 8 is an incredibly complicated and lengthy initiative measure (5 whole sentences) and has lots of big words ("California," for example), I suppose it's possible to have a nuanced position regarding it. The proposition states:
SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
So...the president-elect is against gay (homosexual) marriage but also against defining marriage as between a man and woman (heterosexual marriage).
Hmmmm. Perhaps the reporters confused this word with "nuance."
On reading Carl's funny post, I noticed that The One's seemingly contradictory statements in the article cease to be contradictory if he opposes same-sex "marriage" but supports polygamy...
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
This legislation, if passed would invalidate every law placing ANY restrictions on abortion. It would require you and me to pay for federal funding for abortion. The time to fight this is RIGHT NOW!
"Americans United for Life" has a new website set up for this purpose. Go to
to sign their petition, learn more, and donate to this critical cause. We will have a link to the Fight Foca" website on our right sidebar until this battle is won.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It's hardly newsworthy except inasmuch as it is another example of the narcissistic contempt they feel for the common good and for this funny comment by Andrew Pugno, the General Counsel for "Protect Marriage--Yes on 8":
"The ACLU/Equality California lawsuit is completely lacking in merit. It is as if their campaign just spent $40 million on a losing campaign opposing something they now say is a legal nullity."
Here's a great post and comment by Mark Brumley over at "Ignatius Insight:"
"Part of the problem is that while we now have some bishops willing to speak out in a clear and forceful fashion, we have a generation of churchgoing Catholics--I'm talking about the churchgoers now, not the Catholics in name only--who are clueless about their faith and who have little judgment about how to apply it to the world around them. They go along to get along. These are people who may not have been evangelized, and so they are sacramentalized pagans. These are people who have not been catachesized so they are spiritual babies having to confront issues that require a mature faith.
We need to make the most of this situation and do what we can to change things. Bishops will have to step up the plate. Priests will, too. And religious. And lay leaders. It is going to take an honest appraisal of the problem. No more happy talk about the Church in the U.S. Yes, we have a priest shortage. You want to know why? Because we have a Christian shortage and a Catholic shortage among Catholics. That's the unvarnished truth. The baptized pagans who occupy so much pew space in our churches have to be converted to Christianity. The liberal-Protestantish Catholicism-lite that substitutes for Catholicism has to be converted to real Catholicism. The bishops have to stop kidding themselves. And they have to be willing to take on their brother bishops when they're part of the problem and they have to be willing to confront their clergy when they are part of the problem.
There is more to be said but this will do for now. Let's all look at our own situation and ask ourselves what needs to be done in our own lives. That may require prayer and sacrifice on our part. It may involve having to confront others--charitably and lovingly, of course. It should get us involved more, if we're not already, in parish life."